Seattle Ranked #10 on North American Shared Mobility City Index

seattle transportation

Seattle, nicknamed “Emerald City,” is surrounded by water, mountains and evergreen forests, and is home to a thriving tech industry, with Microsoft and headquartered in its metropolitan area. This West Coast seaport city is also the seat of King County, Washington, and the largest city in both the state of Washington and the Pacific Northwest region of North America.

Seattle transportation is made safe with drivers and pedestrians who are exceptionally courteous compared to other U.S. cities. Though faced with the extraordinary challenges of hills, narrow streets, and near-constant rain, Seattle drivers are law-abiding and operate their vehicles with a very low level of aggression. Seattle is in the top 10 worst traffic cities in North America due to its highway system that runs through the middle of the city.  


With almost 8,000 inhabitants per square mile, Seattle scores 3 out of 10 points on Urban Density.

Mobility Patterns

Seattle is among the high scoring cities in North America on Mobility Patterns. Almost 20% of residents are using public transit, 7.4% are walking, 3.5% are biking and just about 50% are using a car as means of transportation. Seattle scores 8 out of 10 points on Mobility Patterns.


Seattle has a sustainability plan with goals of CO2 reduction and traffic congestion reduction. It also supports shared mobility with special permits for station-based as well as free-floating carshare.

A new bill was recently approved by the Seattle City council in early 2015 to encourage more car-sharing companies to compete with Car2Go. This bill will expand the number of carshare companies allowed in the city from one to four and allow each of them 500 vehicles starting in 2015—plus 250 more once they are serving the entire city. Starting in 2016, it’s up to the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) to decide how many car-share companies and permits should be allowed.

When ReachNow, BMW’s carsharing program launched on April 8th, 2016, SDOT decided to mark this event with an annual carshare day which will be held on April 8th every year going forward. 

Shared Mobility Services

Currently Seattle has 3 global carshare providers (car2go, Zipcar and ReachNow), a peer-to-peer carshare (Getaround) and a Pronto Cycle, the bikeshare provider. ReachNow is the latest addition to Seattle’s shared mobility landscape and was introduced in spring 2016. At the end of 2015, Seattle scored 4 out of 10 points and its score will increase with the 2016 SMCI edition.

Parking Cost

Parking cost in Seattle are medium to high. The average cost for parking downtown in a garage in Seattle is 6% of the median annual household income.

Find out more about the SMCI.

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